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Enoch Talton Nix
Louisiana State Board of Education President Enoch T. Nix (1966)
Personal details
Born (1920-05-02)May 2, 1920
Bienville Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died December 13, 2001(2001-12-13) (aged 81)
Bossier City
Bossier Parish
Resting place Hill Crest Cemetery in Haughton, Louisiana
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Billie White Nix
Children No children
Parents Henry and Maude Nix
Residence Bossier City, Louisiana
Alma mater Castor High School

Louisiana State University

Occupation Banker
Religion Baptist
Military service
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Battles/wars Pacific Theater of Operations of World War II

Enoch Talton Nix (May 2, 1920 – December 13, 2001)[1] was a banker and civic figure from Bossier City, Louisiana, who served for thirty years on the elected Louisiana State Board of Education and its successor organization established under the Louisiana State Constitution of 1974, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.[2]

Early life, education and military service

Nix was born to Henry and Maude Nix in Jamestown in Bienville Parish. He had two sisters, Sybil Nix and Laura Nix Bell. Nix graduated from Castor High School in Castor under principal E. R. Minchew. He then received a bachelor's degree in agriculture from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Upon graduation from LSU, he was accepted into flight school in the United States Navy. He received a commission in 1942 in the United States Marine Corps. He flew the F4U Corsair in the Pacific theater. At the conclusion of the war, Nix was assigned with units which patrolled the border of Nationalist China and the Soviet Union.[2]

Business career

After his release from the military, Nix settled in Bossier Parish in northwestern Louisiana, where he was, first, an associate county agent. In 1950, however, he joined the former Bossier Bank and Trust Company (1923–1986), since part of Chase. He left BB&T prior to 1971 but remained in the banking field for the remainder of his career. Thereafter, he became the BBT president, the vice-president of United Mercantile Bank under its organizer and chairman Ira E. Moss (1905–1994),[1] and the board chairman of the Gibsland Bank and Trust Company, based in Gibsland in Bienville Parish.[2]

Nix was a member of the Shreveport Club, University Club, Palmetto Country Club, Shreveport Committee of One-Hundred, Kiwanis International, and the board of the Bossier Housing Authority.[2][unreliable source?] In 1955, he was president of the Bossier-Webster Fair and Forest Festival, held each October at the fairgrounds in Minden since its establishment in 1944.[3] He headed a fundraising campaign for 4-H citizenship education in 1969 in connection with his presidency of Bossier Bank and Trust Co.[4]

Board president

A Democrat, Nix represented the then Third Louisiana Public Service Commission district on the 11-member state board of education, headed during part of his tenure by the then elected Education Superintendent Bill Dodd. He was already serving on the board in 1963, when Shelby M. Jackson, a native of Concordia Parish, was still the superintendent but who left that position in 1964, having run unsuccessfully for governor.[5] By 1966, Nix was the board president. Among his colleagues were W. E. Whetstone of Monroe, Fred L. Tannehill of Pineville, and J. Marshall Brown of New Orleans, a former state representative and a Democratic National Committeeman from Louisiana.[6]

In 1972, Nix retained his seat on the state board when he defeated fellow Democrat and banker, Shady Wall, also a then member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from Ouachita Parish.[7]

Late in 1972, while Nix was still board president, two African American students, Denver A. Smith and Leonard Brown, Jr. (both born 1952), attending the large historically black Southern University in Baton Rouge, were shot to death by buckshot from sheriff's deputies during a mass demonstration. Police had been called to the campus after students seized an administration building in connection with their demands for improved housing, food service, and input in administrative matters. It was at Southern University at New Orleans, however, where the greatest fallout from the shootings occurred, as protesting students there launched a boycott of classes. Nix ordered the students to return to class "or we [state board] shall recommend to the governor (Edwin Washington Edwards) and the legislature that a study begin immediately to determine a more effective utilization of the facilities on the campus."[8] Nix was hence indirectly threatening to seek the closure of SUNO, an issue again considered in 2011, not because of demonstrations or racial unrest but because of the high costs of operating the institution, the deterioration of campus buildings, and the minuscule rate of graduations. Governor Bobby Jindal proposed that SUNO be merged with the nearby University of New Orleans, but his plan required a two-thirds vote of the legislature.[9]

Family and death

Nix was married to the former Billie White (September 1, 1922 – November 7, 1998),[1] a Castor native, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William O. White, a graduate of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, and a schoolteacher for twenty-eight years at Bossier High School in Bossier City.[10]

The Nixes were members of the Airline Baptist Church in Bossier City. The Nixes died three years apart. They are buried at Hill Crest Cemetery in Haughton in Bossier Parish.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Social Security Death Index". Retrieved June 9, 2011. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Paul Merritt (December 15, 2001). "Enoch T. Nix Obituary". The Shreveport Times on Retrieved June 30, 2017. 
  3. Minden Press, September 29, 1955, p. 1.
  4. "Enoch T. Nix to Head 4-H Bank Campaign,", Tensas Gazette, St. Joseph, Louisiana, October 30, 1969, p. 1.
  5. Patterson's American Education, Vol. 60 (1963): See List of Louisiana education officials.. Stanford University. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 
  6. The Lagniappe, Louisiana Tech University yearbook, 1967, p. 15.
  7. Tensas Gazette, St. Joseph, Louisiana, August 24, 1972.
  8. Education: La. Officials Threaten to Close Troubled Southern UI.. Jet Magazine, December 21, 1972. Retrieved June 10, 2011. 
  9. "Gov. Bobby Jindal Proposes Closing Southern University [at New Orleans", May 12, 2011"]. Retrieved June 10, 2011. 
  10. "Billie W. Nix Obit". Retrieved June 9, 2011. 

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